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Madhya Pradesh: Ken-Betwa project will prove to be a boon for people of Bundelkhand

Bundelkhand comprises of 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 11:28 AM IST

Representative Photo |
Representative Photo |
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Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh): The Ken-Betwa river linking project in Bundelkhand is expected to bring about a major change and prove to be a boon for half the population as the lives of people of a large part of this area are affected by the scarcity of water.

Bundelkhand comprises of 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

One can easily find wells, water sources etc in all the rural areas here with a large number of women and girls seen on the roads carrying a pot of water on their heads. This is because the responsibility of arranging water in every household lies solely with the women.

In the past, Bundelkhand used to be known for its abundance of water with a large number of wells, ponds, stepwells etc but with time the situation changed and this area gradually became known for droughts, migration, unemployment and backwardness.

In the present times, several people have been exploiting these ills plaguing the Bundelkhand region.

In the past, several government schemes were approved, NGOs spent a lot of money on the issue of water conservation but the situation seems far from improving. Only empty slogans to make this area drought-free were raised.

After struggling for the last several years, the Central government approved the Ken-Betwa project costing Rs 45,000 crore facilitating cooperation between the Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh governments to link the two rivers. With this development project, a 10.5 lakh hectare area will be irrigated and provide clean drinking water to nearly 62 lakh people.

KS Tiwari, a Bundelkhand expert, says that it is true that women are responsible for arranging water in rural areas but this project is expected to bring about a change in the lives of women. It is a long-term project, which will be completed in the next eight years but it is too early to predict if it will be completed within this time period.

Therefore, it is necessary that parallel efforts continue along with this project so that the people living here get immediate benefits. For this, emphasis is needed on watershed, water harvesting etc. Central schemes like Atal Bhujal Yojana should be given the much needed push.

Social activist Mamata Jain says that the availability of water will lead to prosperity of the Bundekhland region and will bring about a major transformation in the lives of the people, adding that women are actively involved in gardening work in this area. If water is made available, agriculture will get the much-needed push which will lead to increase in incomes. With this, prosperity will return to the region.

Several surveys have revealed that girls in rural areas are unable to attend school because they have to help in getting water for their families. With the Ken-Betwa project the water woes affecting Bundelkhand will be resolved.

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Published on: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 11:28 AM IST